The technical side of photography is not a problem for me. I know that may sound big-headed, it’s not meant to be. My photographic training was, let’s say, comprehensive. A seven month full-time course that in wider circles is well-respected, certainly gives you a grounding. I look back at some of the work from back then and cringe at it, but I also accept it for what it is and am still striving.
A personal first from ten years ago, the use of many layers, taking days to do and really pushing the computers boundaries.
Having been presented with the subject ‘shopping’, it made sense to mimic some of the visual inspiration of the time. Not great work now but it was a step.
When I graduated from the school, I felt a little bit like when I had just passed my driving test. I knew how to take a photograph but that was just the mechanics, I now had to develop that knowledge into a style, to give my images some character. This I think is where the real challenge of photography is.
I really enjoy shooting weddings, they are challenging and never easy, so you need your wits about you.
So ten years on, my photography has developed into its current manifestation and I now think I am a marketable commodity. This is where my next hurdle lays. All my training does not prepare me for self promotion. Some of you who have been reading my blog or follow my Facebook page may be surprised to hear that, or maybe not. I have in recent months been looking into the different ways to market yourself and mostly it is now down to the internet.
In the studio, you need to work hard to get the shots you want, you can never just turn up to a shoot.
Sometimes it is a shame that many elements used in the shot are hidden.
Inspiration is important to any photographer, we draw our inspiration from other image makers all the time.
Being in Germany does kind of limit my available market somewhat but this gives me the opportunities to try out marketing plans to get an idea about what works or doesn’t. Mostly though I just want to stay busy, producing new work. I have in the past organised a very successful studio open day where I allowed visitors to come in off the street into the studio, sample a micro shoot, see the product and as a result took bookings for bigger shoots. My next project is similar, but based on the pets theme. This one will be slightly different as it will be a kind of competition where people who have their pet photographed will then see their image on our Facebook page. This is where they vote (by liking) their pets image and they then invite their family, friends, anyone who knows them to also like their image. The winner will receive a canvas print of the winning image. Votes can also be included by the general public, so there will be a need to really push the Facebook page.
Sometimes you just have to jump in with both feet, a studio full of animals is a daunting thought.
The idea excites me, I am intrigued as to how the project will work out. This does need loads of work to work, but it is just another step in the journey of building a client base and a reputation that is in this industry all important.
I don’t find self promotion easy, I find that at times I feel clumsy and awkward with it, I am always too critical of my own work, but I accept that in these times I have to get beyond that and just go for it.